Being a Person of Color in the Racial Justice Movement

Conversation Guide

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The expressed American ideal is the creation of a society that is fair and has opportunity for all, regardless of individual or group identity.  When you see yourself in this framework? At times, we may feel open to  exploring these ideas with people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, and other times it can feel very valuable and comforting to process in a group of other people of color. In this Living Room Conversation, we invite people of color to process how your racial and ethnic identity impacts your sense of belonging, the generalizations you make about other groups, your role in fighting against racism, and your vision for racial justice.

Let's Get Started!

Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate. 

Introductions:
Why We're Here (~10 min)

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Conversation Agreements:
How We'll Engage (~5 min)

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)

  • Be curious and listen to understand.
  • Show respect and suspend judgment. 
  • Note any common ground as well as any differences. 
  • Be authentic and welcome that from others. 
  • Be purposeful and to the point. 
  • Own and guide the conversation. 

Question Rounds:
What We’ll Talk About

Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.

Round 1:
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 2:

Being a Person of Color in the Racial Justice Movement (~40 min)

One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk.

  • How does being a part of a specific racial or ethnic group influence your identity or sense of belonging?
  • Have you ever claimed an ethnicity that wasn’t yours or that wasn’t visibly yours in order to “pass,” or have privilege?
  • What generalizations do you think people make about your racial or ethnic group? Which are accurate? Which are inaccurate? Which are most painful?
  • What advantages, disadvantages, or responsibilities do you have as a person of color in fighting against racism?
  • What would a society that values racial and ethnic differences look like? What hopes and fears come up for you when thinking about that society?

Round 3:
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Closing (~5 min)

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Thank You!